Thursday, February 10, 2011

Bette Rintrona on the 5th Annual Chili Bowl Luncheon and the New Buildings Pottery Space

The Art Centers winter intern, Heather Pominville, recently had the opportunity to sit down and talk with Bette Rintrona about her involvement in the upcoming Chili Bowl Luncheon.

The 5th Annual Chili Bowl Luncheon will be taking place on February 22 from 11:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. Homemade meat & vegetarian chili, stews and soups will be served in handmade bowls. Many of the generous potters who have been hard at work making the bowls for this event will also be displaying their works in the Regional Ceramics Exhibition that will be on display from February 12 until March 12.
One of the participating local potters Bette Rintrona has been inspired to create pottery for over 30 years. Her interest in pottery first began at the Arts Center when she started taking classes; she then further developed her skills by attending classes at Munson Williams Proctor Art Institute. She now teaches at the Arts Center and is an active volunteer. Bette explained that there will be around 300 bowls at this year’s Chili Bowl Luncheon and that she is more than appreciative of everyone who is taking the time to participate. Most of the potters will contribute an average of 20 bowls. Bette was especially thankful to Jeffrey Cohen who contributed an astonishing 50 bowls! “The event has grown each year, participation has grown, and it’s just exciting to be having the event in this new space.” says Bette. After participating in and teaching many different pottery classes throughout the years, Bette has noticed that each potter has their own style and desire to create individual work. When speaking about the Chili Bowl Luncheon Bette said, “There is a common goal for all, rather than an individual goal, drawing artists together to create beautiful bowls for the community and people to enjoy at the arts center.”

The Chili Bowl Luncheon will be the first of the Arts Center’s special events held in their beautiful Gould Hall. All proceeds will benefit the Arts Center. Bette had a hand in designing the new pottery studio and is now seeing it come to life. It has the capacity for 10 to 12 potters working at wheels, allowing for a much larger class size. There is 3 times the square footage compared to the original building. “It will be much easier and more enjoyable to work in this new space,” said Bette. When asked about what part of the new studio excites her most Bette said, “the new gas kiln!” The gas kiln is the larger of the Arts Center’s two kilns, and is now easy enough for a few firings each month compared to previous years where the gas kiln was only fired a few times in the summer. It’s a wonderful resource for potters allowing them to achieve beautiful, varied-glazing effects.

Many of the generous potters who have been hard at work making the bowls for this event will also be displaying their works in the Regional Ceramics Exhibition that will be opening on display from February 12 until March 12. Some of the artists include: Art Baird, Vincent Clemente, Megan Crimmins, Dennis DeStefanis, Barbara Fry, Julie Hindsdill, Marie Imundo, Linda Erion, Bette Rintrona, Greg Rudd, and Nancy Venetz. New participants this year are Ruth McKenna, Jeffrey Cohen, Page Hannah, and Carolyn Gaylord.

Bette Rintrona is not the only one who is excited about the Arts Center and everything new that is has to offer; many people have already stopped by just to take a look at the beautiful facility. Don’t miss out on the Art Centers first event at the new facility, the 5th Annual Chili Bowl Luncheon, on February 22, starting at 11:30 a.m.

To learn more about upcoming events at the Arts Center/Old Forge visit or call 315-369-6411.

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